- Status: Orange, but —
El nivel de actividad naranja 🔶 del VNR nos indica que debemos estar preparados para una posible erupción de magnitud considerable. Como existe la probabilidad de que el volcán alcance el nivel de actividad rojo, este es el momento de tomar medidas de prevención⛑️ pic.twitter.com/jRoZPkXZEG
— Servicio Geológico Colombiano (@sgcol) May 1, 2023
They don’t usually make such tweets daily. See May 1st 5:04 p.m. update below.
- Interactive official hazard map (autotranslated), via Relief Web; En español
- Links to webcams, public data, and other information.
- Update archive.
Update, May 12, 2023, 6:02 p.m., Pacific: When I got back online just now, I found the current ash advisory, noting frequent emissions:
FVXX22 KNES 122253
VOLCANO: RUIZ 351020
PSN: N0453 W07519
SUMMIT ELEV: 17319 FT (5279 M)
ADVISORY NR: 2023/284
INFO SOURCE: GOES-16. VONA. NWP MODELS. SERVICIO
ERUPTION DETAILS: FQT EM
OBS VA DTG: 12/2230Z
OBS VA CLD: SFC/FL230 N0449 W07502 – N0430 W07437
– N0427 W07438 – N0443 W07504 – N0449 W07502 MOV
FCST VA CLD +6HR: 13/0430Z SFC/FL230 N0523 W07452
– N0508 W07440 – N0451 W07519 – N0453 W07521 –
FCST VA CLD +12HR: 13/1030Z SFC/FL230 N0542
W07518 – N0540 W07456 – N0451 W07517 – N0451
W07520 – N0542 W07518
FCST VA CLD +18HR: 13/1630Z SFC/FL230 N0542
W07513 – N0541 W07456 – N0450 W07516 – N0452
W07520 – N0542 W07513
RMK: VO RPRT FQT EM OF VA OVR LAST 6 HRS. PSBL
PLUME OF VA WAS CENTERED 35 NM SE OF THE SUMMIT.
WINDS FCST BY NWP MODELS TO BACK WITH EM MOV TWD
N BY T+12. …TURK
NXT ADVISORY: WILL BE ISSUED BY 20230513/0500Z
On the Cerro Guali cam, I could just barely make out a big plume coming off the summit, perhaps lit by a little incandescence since the rest of the view was dark (no moon).
The webicorder I follow looked like this —
— and El Tiempo reports (autotranslated) under this image by Manzinales City Hall…
…that UNGRD has decided to lower the exclusion zone to 10 km, and that many tourist businesses in Caldas can reopen, many families can go back home, and many kids can go back to school.
I read of the economic benefits in that story; the reasoning behind the reduction to 10 km wasn’t given.
I hope it works out, but I know here in the US what to infer about major news that drops at the end of the day on a Friday: whoever the newsmakers are here who are doing this, they are trying to avoid or at least dampen opposition/outcry over something they’ve done.
That’s how it works in the US, I know. In Colombia, ¿Quien sabe?
Whatever. Hope the volcano plays along with them.
UNGRD has this Twitter thread pinned at the moment; I don’t see mention of the change to 10 km (the most recent story on their website is from May 1):
#VolcánEnAlerta 🗻| Dir. @UNGRD, @olmedolopezm, presidió Puesto de Mando Unificado (PMU) #16 de seguimiento a las acciones de preparativos para la respuesta por el nivel de actividad naranja 🟠 del #VolcánNevadoDelRuiz 🗻🧵⬇ pic.twitter.com/0ChtUecEaM
— UNGRD🇨🇴 (@UNGRD) May 12, 2023
Edit, 7:05 p.m., Pacific: Also found this, re: SO2:
On 2023-05-12 #TROPOMI has detected a strong SO2 signal of 16.94DU at a distance of 32.3km to #NevadodelRuiz at an altitude of ~0km. Estimated mass within 300km: 1.2ktons.. @tropomi #S5p #Sentinel5p @DLR_en @BIRA_IASB @ESA_EO #SO2LH pic.twitter.com/2IISXYX2HD
— TROPOMI SO2 (@DlrSo2) May 12, 2023
Update, May 12, 9:20 a.m., Pacific: The wait continues. Ruiz is socked in at present on the webcams, but Jhon/VIDJCB got some good views of the volcano’s impressive steam plume in the clear early morning air:
Most of that narration in Spanish is him reading today’s SGC update, which I have run through Google Translate here (emphasis added by SGC or me.
Interestingly, it contains the first ashfall forecast that I have noticed in these bulletins.
From 9:00 a.m. From yesterday (May 11) until the time of publication of this bulletin, the seismic activity related to the movement of fluids inside the volcanic conduits continued to predominate. This seismicity presented a slight decrease in the number of earthquakes and an increase in the seismic energy released compared to the previous day. Some of these signals have been related to pulsatile and continuous ash emissions, confirmed through the web cameras used for volcanic monitoring.
Additionally, the seismicity record associated with rock fracturing inside the volcanic edifice is maintained, which showed a decrease in the number of earthquakes and in seismic energy compared to the previous day (May 10). The earthquakes were located to the northeast and southeast of the Arenas crater, at an approximate distance of up to 3 km from it, and at depths between 1 and 4 km.
Regarding surface activity, the maximum height of the column of gases and/or ash observed was 1600 m measured from the top of the volcano, and the preferential dispersion direction of the column of gases was to the east – southeast of this. Yesterday morning, May 11, ash fall was confirmed in the La Cabaña sector, Murillo municipality (Tolima). For today, the forecasts indicate that the wind will be in the same direction (east – southeast), so that, if continuous ash emission continues to be recorded, it is possible that ash falls in the same sector and in other sectors of the municipalities (Murillo and Líbano) of Tolima that are in that direction of the volcano.
On the other hand, variations in the degassing of sulfur dioxide and the release of water vapor from the crater into the atmosphere continue, as well as, from satellite monitoring platforms, thermal anomalies continue to be observed at the bottom of the crater.
All these indicators ratify what the SGC has reiterated: the activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano continues to be highly unstable. It is possible that the levels of seismic activity, as well as the levels of degassing or ash output, decrease or be oscillating, in the sense of increasing on some days and decreasing on others. However, this does not imply that the volcano has returned to its normal levels of activity, so it is recommended not to get used to these oscillating changes in activity and think that it is a normal activity of the volcano.
Therefore, we reiterate that the activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano continues at ORANGE LEVEL, which indicates that there is a probability that in days or weeks it will erupt more than it has in the last 10 years. To change the level and return to the Yellow level, a prudential time is required where trends and patterns can be observed that allow us to infer the possible decrease in activity, aspects that the current activity of the volcano still does not show. For this reason, we warn that the level of activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano will remain at ORANGE LEVEL for several weeks. During this time, in the event of an acceleration of processes suggesting an imminent eruption or the eruption itself occurring, the activity level will be changed to Red.
We recommend that the community remain calm, follow all the instructions of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) and local authorities, and be attentive to the information provided by the Colombian Geological Service on the evolution of the state of the volcano.
The level of activity of the volcano remains at ORANGE LEVEL of activity or (II):
ERUPTION LIKELY WITHIN DAYS OR WEEKS.
The COLOMBIAN GEOLOGICAL SERVICE will continue to be attentive to the evolution of the volcanic phenomenon and will inform opportunely about the changes that may occur.
For more information visit the following link:
In other news found online this morning, the mayor’s office in Manizales (Caldas District) issued an update — autotranslated; the What’s App pop-up isn’t mandatory, but I had a little difficulty closing it.
This is about possible evacuation routes.
In Tolima District, although the information isn’t in front of me, I recall reading a few days ago that reportedly 90 km out of a total 120 km of potential evacuation routes have been improved.
Here is a video showing why they focus on roads — even the cities are hilly, and out in the countryside, where tens of thousands of people reportedly have remained despite official requests to evacuate, it’s “V”-time.
A truly beautiful country and people. Many of us outsiders are seeing the real Colombia for the first time. I hope that tourism here is boosted over the long run, no matter how this Ruiz crisis goes.
Back to the news:
La Patria has a seven-point news story (autotranslated) this morning.
Also, RCN Radio has an interesting Ruiz portal (autotranslated).
Featured image: Ric Photography/Shutterstock